QueenʼsMen Editions

About this text

  • Title: The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)
  • Editor: Andrew Griffin

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: Andrew Griffin
    Peer Reviewed

    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    Enter Gonorill, and Skalliger.
    Gon. I prithy, Skalliger, tell me what thou thinkst:
    775Could any woman of our dignity
    Endure such quips and peremptory taunts,
    As I do daily from my doting father?
    Doth't not suffice that I him keepe of almes,
    Who is not able for to keepe himselfe?
    780But as if he were our better, he should thinke
    To check and snap me vp at euery word.
    I cannot make me a new fashioned gowne,
    And set it forth with more then common cost;
    But his old doting doltish withered wit,
    785Is sure to giue a sencelesse check for it.
    I cannot make a banquet extraordinary,
    To grace my selfe, and spread my name abroad,
    But he, old foole, is captious by and by,
    And sayth, the cost would well suffice for twice.
    790Iudge then, I pray, what reason ist, that I
    Should stand alone charg'd with his vaine expence,
    And that my sister Ragan should go free,
    To whom he gaue as much, as vnto me?
    C4 I prithy,
    The History of King Leir
    I prithy, Skalliger, tell me, if thou know,
    795By any meanes to rid me of this woe.
    Skal.Your many fauours still bestowde on me,
    Binde me in duty to aduise your Grace,
    How you may soonest remedy this ill.
    The large allowance which he hath from you,
    800Is that which makes him so forget himselfe:
    Therefore abbridge it halfe, and you shall see,
    That hauing lesse, he will more thankfull be:
    For why, abundance maketh vs forget
    The fountaynes whence the benefits do spring.
    805Gon. Well, Skalliger, for thy kynd aduice herein,
    I will not be vngratefull, if I liue:
    I haue restrayned halfe his portion already,
    And I will presently restrayne the other,
    That hauing no meanes to releeue himselfe,
    810He may go seeke elsewhere for better helpe. Exit.
    Skal. Go, viperous woman, shame to all thy sexe:
    The heauens, no doubt, will punish thee for this:
    And me a villayne, that to curry fauour,
    Haue giuen the daughter counsell 'gainst the father.
    815But vs the world doth this experience giue,
    That he that cannot flatter, cannot liue. Exit.